Sunday, November 22, 2009

Verizon Droid Video Review on G4TV Attack of the Show

Ready to own the Droid? Check out the 50 dollar discount on the Verizon Droid.

When a new phone makes as many waves as the Verizon Droid, we strive to find out all the information and really know if the phone is worth all the hype.  After all, the Droid is attempting to outdo the most popular phone in the country, the Apple iPhone.  This phone comes packed with features, and before getting into them all, we can definitely say this is THE top Verizon phone on the market.  In fact this phone is packed with so much, we figured a video review would be the perfect way to explore every single featured on the phone.  Thanks to G4TV's Attack of the Show, we've got a great video review of the Droid, presented by hosts Kevin Pereira and our favorite cell phone reviewer of all time, Olivia Munn.  The review covers everything from the Droid's size, speed, apps, camera, camcorder, and of course how it stacks up against the iPhone.  Check out the review, and see why some people say the Verizon Droid is the iPhone killer, and may simply be the best phone on the market right now:

**Update** Have you heard the news that the Motorola Razr is returning in Droid form?  Check out the full story on the all new Verizon Droid Razr

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bank Deposits Via iPhone Coming Soon

Technology takes another step forward, as private bank USAA has announced plans to allow members to deposit checks via their updated iPhone application. 

Members will have to take a picture of both sides of the check, then send to the bank and it's electronic system will get the account number, amount, and other information before making the deposit. USAA plans to avoid the risk of fraud in these situations by requiring members to have both a bank account, and an insurance product with the bank before using the new system. 

This is a big step as far as technology bringing convenience to something like making a bank deposit. There has to be a lot of concern with security issues and such with all the iPhone hack attempts going on and such, so this should be interesting to see how this goes. If it becomes a success, in a few years time, or maybe even sooner, the big banks could adopt similar systems. Also it could be another big selling point for the iPhone as far as marketing it as the "everything phone."

T-Mobile To Begin Charging for Paper Bills

If you have any sort of credit card or even phone bill, you know that you are constantly being asked by the company to "go paperless" and receive statements online only. This is a cost cutting measure for the company, which lowers the cost of paper and mailing, so of course they would prefer you go paperless. 

Well T-Mobile is taking it to the next level by beginning to actually charge customers who want a paper bill. The cost will be $1.50 for a basic paper bill. Currently, T-Mobile already charges customers $1.99 per month for detailed bills that include details on all calls and text messages made, so T-Mobile customers who want a detailed paper bill will now be charged $3.49 per month. Of course T-Mobile customers can avoid all the charges by going paperless and receiving statements online. 

This is a tough call on this one. Technology is making things like paper bills a thing of the past, but some people still prefer the old way for record keeping purposes, or some people still aren't computer savvy and want their bills the old fashioned way, except now they'll have to pay for it. The new charges go into effect September 12, so T-Mobile customers have about a month to decide to go paperless or pay up.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The 9 Best Cell Phones to Smuggle in your WHAT?!

There was a recent news story about a teen who was arrested for texting in class and then hiding her phone down her pants and refusing to hand it over. Many of the sensationalist headlines and stories made the claim that the girl " hid the phone in her butt." This claim is obviously erroneous. She slid a small phone down her pants, but it was not "in her butt." At least I don't think it was. 

 Even though the story was exaggerated, it really got me thinking. What if you were faced with circumstances where hiding your cell phone in your butt might actually be a good idea? Perhaps you are abducted and need to hide your phone until it is safe to call 911. Maybe some nosy government bureaucrats come sniffing around your property. Whatever the reason- If you had to hide your cell phone, what would be the best cell phones for hiding in your ass? 

I consulted 4 friends who are experts in wireless phones and security/survival tactics. John S. works as a salesman for a Verizon Wireless dealer in New York. Mark P. is a manager at an AT&T Solutions store in Ohio. Robert is a Homeland Security expert and consultant for several Washington, D.C. think tanks. Vince is a former Navy SEAL who teaches an Urban survival course in California. 

I asked Robert if he was aware of any smugglers who have successfully hidden cell phones in their ass. His reply was " Well, first I think I should make clear that the rectum is an output and not an input. Many smugglers agree with me. However, they are not above hiding narcotics or other contraband in their rectum. A cell phone would be an entirely different issue. While modern phones have become smaller and slimmer, they still tend to be a little too large for the human anal cavity. Many of the criminals we deal with prefer the prepaid phones, which also tend to be a bit larger. For example, the Trac Phone popular with terror cells is quite large." I asked Robert if the promise of 72 virgins would encourage many men to lose their anal cherry to a large Nokia. Apparently he was not amused, as he hung up. 

My friend John has been selling phones for Verizon Wireless for the last 8 years. He has sold literally tens of phones over the years and is familiar with the latest models. I asked him if he knew what the smallest phones were or the phones that would most likely fit in that certain place. " You mean the butt?" He then told me he had a chick, her mom, and her grandmom come in and all want phones on a family plan. "This chick was pretty beat, man. Maybe a three-bagger. Grandma really liked me and said I should date her granddaughter. I said I was taken but I could totally sell her a cell phone though." John told me he would recommend a small phone that vibrates. 

Mark wasn't much help either. He kept telling me that he didn't really know which phones would be the best fit, but that if they were AT&T network they would have really good reception anywhere, even in a body cavity. He also wanted me to try his new TV service and high speed internet bundle. I told him uverse wasn't available in my area and I liked my cable company. He recommended a "super slim" Motorola Krazr phone, but I was wondering if that meant it was also very wide. He said some people just liked it that way for some reason. 

I knew Vince would have some answers. I know Vince through a mutual friend who is convinced we are on the brink of economic collapse and will have to fight for our survival. Vince seems like a good guy who is willing help some fools part from their money. And he really knows his stuff. He taught my friend Bill W. ( name changed to protect his ass) how to escape from hostage situations, among other things. I figured Vince would have some thoughts on hiding a cell phone in case of an emergency. " Ah yes, in fact we did have Bill run through one of those scenarios. He actually used a Blackberry Storm, which is a surprising choice. But Bill was a real trooper." I really could not believe this at all. How could my friend Bill, a notorious tight ass, smuggle a BlackBerry Storm without detection? " 

In dangerous times, the human mind is an incredible force and can make the body do things you wouldn't believe. If someone wants to kill you and the only way to live is to shove a phone the size of a brick inside of you, that phone is going in your ass." Wow. That must feel like shitting a brick. I was hoping for more help from my experts, especially the Homeland Security consultant. However, I think I got enough information to narrow it down. 

A lot of this is common sense. Obviously a very small phone will cause the least discomfort. But as Vince said, in a life or death situation, the human body is capable of amazing feats. In making this list I evaluated a number of factors, including: manufacturer, network reliability, features, and price. Keep in mind that the primary criteria were emergency use and smuggling without detection. The following phones are available on Verizon or AT&T Wireless. Based on my research and experience these carriers have the best prices and coverage. I also believe their network will follow you just about anywhere, which is obviously very important. 

 9. Samsung Smooth U350 - For Verizon Wireless. The name says it all. Because it's so smooth going in. It's a "practical phone with just the features you want." That sounds perfect to us. The dimensions are 3.9 x 1.9 x 0.8 inches. 

8. Samsung Sway U650 Verizon Wireless- The Sway measures at only 0.5 inches thick. I think the benefits here are obvious. It doubles as a practical phone and music player. It really makes that ass "sway." We recommend only using the phone features in an emergency situation. 

 7. Motorola Krave ZN4 - I have selected the Krave because of its clear protective touch cover. This flips down and protects the phone when it is closed. I think this could come in handy for keeping the screen clean and the phone in working order. 

6. Blackberry Storm 9530 - For friends of Bill W and the adventurous survivalist in all of us. This is the ultimate survival smartphone, if you can handle the 2.5 inch width. 

5. Samsung Glyde U940- The Verizon Wireless "Gentle Glyde" phone includes a huge touchscreen and QWERTY Keyboard, but it opens ( glides) instead of flipping like the similar Voyager. It also checks in at 2 inches of width, much smaller than the Blackberry. 

4. Pantech Breeze c520 for AT&T Wireless- This phone features a compact design that is affordable and flexible. Perfect for an emergency smuggling situation, it's "a breeze." 

 3. ATT Blackberry Pearl 8110- This offering from AT&T Wireless is another phone with a great descriptive name. Unlike the larger Blackberry Storm that Bill trains with, the Pearl will help keep your waters calm and provide a relaxing experience. Gives a whole new meaning to being a Pearl Girl. 

2. Motorola KRZR - Our top pick from AT&T. Mark, our ATT&T salesman, helped us pick this one out. The Krzr has improved on the style and features of its predecessor, the popular Motorola Razr. Very slim and not too wide at only 1.7 inches, advanced voice dialing is another excellent feature. 

 1. Samsung Juke U470- At just 1.2 inches wide and 0.8 inches thick, this phone seems like it is made for the job. The Juke is a "real crowd-pleaser" and one of the few "slim" phones that are just as described. I realize "slim" is a relative term in this situation, but overall the Samsung Juke is my personal pick as "The Best Cell Phone to Smuggle in Your Ass 2009".

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Verizon Wireless Offers New Nationwide Plus Mexico Calling Plan

Verizon Wireless has introduced a new calling plan that will catch the eye of cell phone users who regularly call or travel to Mexico. 

The "Nationwide Plus Mexico" plan features 1000 night and weekend minutes to use in the U.S. AND Mexico, with no long distance fees. The plan also allows users to incur no roaming fees while in Mexico. The plan also allows unlimited mobile to mobile calling while in the U.S. only. The Nationwide Plus Mexico plan starts at $54.99 a month, or $84.99 for family plans with 2 lines of service. 

This is a smart move by Verizon, since money is tight overall for most people right now, those who have friends and family in Mexico will have a much easier time communicating by using Verizon's Plus Mexico plan, so Verizon could be gaining a lot of new customers who want Verizon service just to get this new plan.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Will Verizon Be Getting the Apple iPhone?

The answer to the above question is....quite possibly. News has spread that Apple (the maker of the iPhone) has been in serious talks with Verizon Wireless to sell a version of the iPod that would work on Verizon's network. Previously we have posted about the LG Voyage as Verizon's answer the iPhone, but now it seems that Verizon may be looking to add the real deal. 

The iPhone single handedly made AT&T the most popular cell phone company, due to it being exclusive iPhone carrier. Things could definitely be in for a big change if Verizon becomes only the second carrier to offer the iPhone. Verizon has done good business over the past year, even withoout the iphone, but with the addition of the ultimate smartphone, Verizon could easily become the top cell phone carrier. Some have wondered if Apple is thinking about completely switching over to Verizon as the sole carrier of the iPhone, but top Apple execs have stated that they are happy with their relationship with AT&T, so it looks like both Verizon and AT&T would carry the iPhone, and a huge competition for customers would be going down. 

Word has it that Verizon could be carrying the iPhone as early as next year.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

AT&T is Waiving Activation Fees for One Week Only!

If you've been considering getting or switching to an AT&T account, they're waiving the $36 activation fee this week through midnight Sunday (March 21, 2009.) This is a rare thing for AT&T to do, so now is the best time to take advantage of getting out of the pesky fees that can make new cellular accounts pretty expensive. On top of that, there are many good deals going on that include free phones, or even cash in your pocket if you choose one of the deals that feature a free phone and rebates on top of that. 

This is a very smart promotion by AT&T to really drum up more business, and may cause the other cellular carriers to look at their fees and maybe come up with promotions like this of their own. So if you want to take advantage of the promotion, check out the AT&T no activation fee order page.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Interesting Palm Centro Prom Time Cell Phone Promotion

This News is actually from last year, but fits the theme of the site and the season. I read a lot of industry news and publications about phones and wireless devices. I get a stack of mags that I read and skim at my leisure. Sometimes I am looking for something to write about, but usually I am just trying to keep up with cell phone news as part of my job in the telecom world. 

I was reading a magazine from March 2008 that had a little blurb about a Palm phone give away from prom season last year. An Organization called the Princess Project donates prom dresses to girls who want to go to the prom but really don't have the means to afford a nice dress. As part of a promotional tie-in ( and of course, helping a good cause), Palm gave away Palm Centro smartphones to the first 27 people at several screenings of the hit movie "27 Dresses." More specifically the first 27 people who donated prom dresses for The Princess Project.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Today's Teen Rebels like to Illegally Text, Hide Phones in Pants

Today we bring you a link to a story that illustrates how much technology has advanced when it comes to the design of cell phones. The story is a bit of an exaggeration, but apparently cell phones are really getting small these days. A Teen Hides Her Cell Phone Where? 

OK, I think they really pushed that one. What really happened was a teen was using her cell phone to text message in class. She refused to stop sending text messages ( maybe she had one of those text message only plans?), and hid her phone. She was searched and the phone was found down her pants. But that hasn't stopped a lot of people from reporting that she stuck it you-know-where.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Samsung Announces Solar Powered Phone, the Blue Earth

Samsung announced it will be bringing a solar powered phone titled the "Blue Earth" to their handset lineup. 

The Blue Earth will be made from recycled materials that can use solar power to charge the battery. The phone was designed to look like a pebble, and features a touch screen, and the ability to go into a low power "eco-mode." And one very unique feature is that the phone has a built in pedometer that will let the user know how they are reducing emissions by walking instead of driving. The battery has a 5 star energy efficiency rating and uses very little power. I'm sure as word gets around on this phone, it has the potential to be a huge hit among those who want to "go green" and "save the trees" etc. 

Actually it really does show and tell you how many trees you have saved judging by the distance you've walked. Also if this phone turns out to be a hit, it could open up doors for many more earth friendly phones that will use solar energy and promote green living, and maybe even get more people interested in the cause. More info. on Samsung's Blue Earth phone will be available at next weeks Mobile World Congress.

Verizon Wireless Set to Offer "Friends and Family" Plans

Verizon has announced that beginning February 15, they would be offering new plans that are similar to the service offered by the now Verizon owned Alltel, which has always offered the "My Circle Plan." 

Verizon will call their version the "Friends and Family Plan," and will be able to pick 5 or 10 numbers of friends or family, which will include landlines and numbers on other wireless networks, and the chosen numbers will not count against their monthly minutes. To get these new plans, customers must have a single line plan with at least 900 minutes (the 60 bucks a month plan) or a family share plan with at least 1,400 minutes (the 90 bucks a month plan.) And just like Alltel, the numbers in customers "circle" can change monthly, in case they want to use a new number or kick an old one out. 

Verizon once again keeps offering more and more options, and this one will definitely make more than a few people happy, since now they can save on minutes by saving when talking to the people they talk to most, and less worry about adding more and more minutes to accommodate their situation.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Amazon Bringing Kindle Services to Cell Phones recently announced that they would be expanding their Kindle services, which bring e-books to their Kindle reader, to be available to mobile phones. 

Word has it that an application may be downloaded on mobile devices, which will enable users to read kindle e-books on their phone. Amazon spokesperson Drew Herdener had this to say in the NY Times: "Also Thursday, Amazon said that it was working on making the titles for its popular e-book reader, the Kindle, available on a variety of mobile phones. The company, which is expected to unveil a new version of the Kindle next week, did not say when Kindle titles would be available on mobile phones. 

“We are excited to make Kindle books available on a range of mobile phones,” said Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Amazon. “We are working on that now” So another big expansion for mobile phones, that will no doubt gain popularity of e-books, being many mobile phone users will be able to carry books with them wherever they go.

Verizon Now Offers Location Based Weather Alerts

Verizon recently unveiled their latest service offering in the form of a location based weather alert system that will combine data from the National Weather Service with Weatherbug's national sensor service. The service will use GPS and location information to see where the user is, and will issue an alert via text message if they are currently in an area in threat of tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, or other inclement or dangerous weather conditions.  

Weatherbug can be downloaded directly to a user's phone, and requires a $5.99 a month subscription. This is another step forward for technology, as users can feel they will be notified of weather danger, and will probably lead to future systems that can alert people of any dangers or urgent news via their phone, and the cell phone will keep on progressing in becoming the "everything device" that it has already has become in numerous ways.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Logic Wireless Set to Release the First Projector Phone

Logic Wireless is set to debut the "Logic Bolt," which will feature the ability to project images on a surface such as a wall, allowing the phone to create images large enough for a crowd, as the projector can increase the size of the image by 3000%. 

Now the major appeal for this feature will no doubt be for business cell phone users who can easily pull out their phone and have presentations readily available, easier than ever. The phone will feature programs like Microsoft Excel, Word, and Powerpoint, which are must-have programs in the business world, and with this new phone, presentations can be made easier than ever. 

Of course this kind of technology will probably also lead to school kids projecting questionable pics the school hallways and such, but for the most part, this should be a really helpful tool for business and should make this phone a popular choice. Aside from the projector, the Bolt will also feature a touch screen, GSM quad band, a 3 mega pixel camera, Bluetooth, GPS, Internet, and will connect to multiple devices like TV's and laptop's. The MSRP will be $600, or $100 with 2 year carrier plan, and the phone will be available for GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile, and in the future, Logic will expand its GSM carrier network. The Logic Bolt is packed with features, and a price that isn't too bad if you're getting a contract anyway, the Logic Bolt could be one of the next big phones on the cellular market.